2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot

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Mini Three Kings Bread Rolls

Returning this year to 2017 Festival of the Holidays at Epcot is the Feast of the Three Kings!

We love Mickey & Minnie's costumes for the event!

We love Mickey & Minnie’s fiesta costumes!

Inspired by food and drinks of the Caribbean, the kitchen pays homage to the Día de los Reyes Magos, a holiday celebrated in the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain, not only with the food but also with history, as you get to learn about the celebration itself.

The Feast of the Three Kings features drinks like Coquito (with and without rum) and dishes like a roasted pork with mashed yucca and pickled green bananas, the very traditional Three Kings Bread and a shredded beef tamale with avocado crema.

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The Three Kings

Feast of the Three Kings

Dine like royalty as you enjoy scrumptious foods and delicious drinks of the Caribbean. Inspired by the story of the Magi, this holiday kitchen celebrates the tradition of Three Kings’ Day—El Dia De Los Reyes Magos.

Food

  • Shredded Beef Tamale with Avocado Crema and Cilantro Rice
  • Roasted Pork with Smashed Yuca and Pickled Green Bananas
  • Three Kings Bread

 Beverages

  • Presidente Pilsner, Dominican Republic
  • Coquito with a Bacardi® Rum Floater
  • Coquito (non-alcoholic)

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Here’s the recipe for Epcot’s Three Kings Bread so you and your family and make it and enjoy it at home!

Three Kings Bread

 DOUGH

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons shortening
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3- 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons instant yeast

SUGAR PASTE

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1 egg

GLAZE

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FINISHED BREAD

  • 1 egg
  • 16 Maraschino cherries, chopped
  • Red and green sugar

FOR DOUGH:
1. Place the eggs and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.
2. Add the sugar, butter, shortening, salt, orange zest, vanilla, and 3 cups of the bread flour to the mixing bowl. Sprinkle instant yeast on top of the flour.
3. Knead on medium speed for 12 minutes, until soft dough forms. Dough will be slightly sticky. If dough is not soft after 12 minutes, add 1/4 cup of flour at a time and knead for 1 additional minute.
4. Portion the dough into 16 balls on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

FOR SUGAR PASTE:
1. Cream shortening, sugar, and cake flour in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
2. Add egg and mix, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl, until well blended.
3. Set aside.

FOR GLAZE:
1. Whisk powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons of the milk, and vanilla extract together until smooth.
2. Add additional tablespoon of milk, if needed.
3. Set aside.

FOR THREE KINGS BREAD:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Beat egg and brush on top of dough.
3. Pipe the sugar paste in an “x” over the top of the balls of dough.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Cool for 15 minutes and top with glaze.
6. Sprinkle red and green sugar and chopped maraschino cherries on top of glaze.

You can also find delicious food at Las Posadas holiday kitchen near Mexico. They are serving one of my favorite dishes for the holidays: Buñuelo Navideño – a thin round fried pastry, drizzled with honey and dusted with cinnamon and brown sugar. Delicioso!

Makes 16

Epcot International 2017 Festival of the Holidays takes place until December 30, 2017.

Rosca de Reyes cake

Rosca de Reyes cake – yummy!

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Several Guests Try to Climb the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

tree

Are they crazy???


12/04/2017:
Four guests were spotted climbing portions of the Tree of Life at Disney’s Animal Kingdom yesterday.

One photo shows a man in a white shirt attempted to scale the tree that’s carved and designed with animals. Another man in a black shirt was also photographed standing at the bottom of the tree taking a selfie.

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Stopping to take a selfie.

Disney security was called and the guests were not successful in their climb to the top. Upon arriving at the scene, the guests were told to get down and were spoken to by Disney security, but no trespassing charges were brought against them nor were they “banned for life” from Walt Disney World as many are speculating.

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What are they thinking????

Of course, this isn’t the first time a guest has been seen climbing a facade at Walt Disney World. Just over two years ago a drunk guest successfully scaled the Mexico Pavilion facade at Epcot during the 2015 International Food and Wine Festival.

Drunk guest Climbs Mayan Temple at Epcot

OMG!

OMG!

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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2018 DCP Housing Rents at WDW

The four housing complexes at Disney World.

There are four huge DCP housing complexes at Disney World.

The DCP apartments at Disney World have one to four bedrooms, with two or three participants in each bedroom.

rent

$103 – $196/week.

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$108 – $200/week.  We loved living at The Commons.

Rent costs are automatically deducted weekly from every cast members’ paychecks, so you don’t have to worry about turning in a check at the beginning of the month. (If you don’t work enough hours in a week, you can call the Front Office and pay your rent over the phone.)

The apartment rent includes all utilities such as electricity, wifi internet (S-L-O-W!), TV cable hookup, waste disposal, recycling, heat/AC, local phone service, 24 hour gated security, free bus transportation to all the Disney parks, resorts, and Disney Springs (for work and playtime!); as well as the various resort-style amenities, such as pools, hot tubs, outdoor grills, gyms, basketball, etc. available at each housing complex.

rental

You can rent all these things for free at the front desk of each housing complex.

May 16, 2017 Update:  All DCP apartments have been smoke-free for years, but now Housing is limiting where you can smoke on property (i.e., one of our roommates used to smoke out on the balcony. That’s no longer allowed.)  We think this is a good thing!

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May 16, 2017 email from Housing regarding smoking on property.

Now if they see or smell any sign of smoking in the apartment at all, the whole apartment will FAIL the monthly inspection!  😦

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“Smoking inside the apartment” is now a Code Violation.

As soon as you’re accepted to the DCP, sign up for what type of apartment size you want and where you want to live like I did: Filling out my DORMS form.  (Be aware, there is no guarantee…I literally got my last housing choice!)

To help figure out what size apartment you will be able to afford during your program, remember that most CPs are paid $10/hr. before taxes and are only guaranteed 32/hrs. week.  [Certain roles like lifeguarding get a $1/hr. premium.]

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The DORMS apartment selection process.

Bonus Tip:  Disney Housing offers a free monthly Housing Event social for all residents. Lots of free food, music and dancing, and fun character meet and greets!

housing

The first Housing Event for the Fall 2017 program is on August 10th, Chatham Field. Free food and great music!! Don’t miss it!

Our first DCP Housing event:  August 2013

At our first DCP Housing event, we got to meet the characters from Andy’s Room (Toy Story) and they gave us free straw hats!

Interested in learning about the DCP Housing available at Disneyland? It’s called Carnegie Plaza:  Carnegie Plaza at Disneyland.

pins

The brand new DCP Housing pins are being released monthly.

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Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

Happy Birthday Mickey Mouse!

mickey birthday

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse share the same birthday: November 18, 1928!

Mickey Mouse – and Minnie Mouse – turn 89 on November 18, 2017.

mickey birthday1

Happy birthday, Mickey! All the park guests got free birthday celebration buttons today.

Next year, he’ll be celebrating his 90th birthday….I’m sure there will be a HUGE party for him next November!

mickey birthday

Special birthday cupcakes were available this week at WDW.

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Main Street USA last night.

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They’re celebrating his birthday at the Disney Stores too! Free gift (the celebration button).

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mickey birthday

Free birthday celebration buttons for all guests!

Mickey celebrating his big day (Disney Parks video)Mickey’s Happy Birthday November 2017.

Mickey’s birthday is celebrated in honor of the release of his first theatrical film, Steamboat Willie, on November 18, 1928, at the Colony Theatre in New York City.

Since then, he has starred in more than 120 cartoons.

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I think this button is really cute!  We got two of them last year.

mm

Happy birthday to the best boss ever!  🙂

mmc

#HappyBirthdayMickey

hb

So cute!


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two-disney-sisters

Two Disney sisters.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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2017 Gingerbread Display at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

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Cinderella and her Prince Charming

This year’s gingerbread display at Disney’s Contemporary Resort features Cinderella and Prince Charming in front of their gingerbread castle.

The adorable gingerbread version of Cinderella Castle is done in “it’s a small world” style inspired once again by the artwork of Mary Blair. The new display replaces the ‘Frozen’ gang seen in the past few years.

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It’s in the Contemporary’s main atrium this year.

Also new this year is the location of the display. You’ll find it by the large A-frame window in the main atrium as opposed to its previous spot just outside of Chef Mickey’s. Much better lighting!

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It’s all about the gingerbread!

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We LOVE these shingles!

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Catch me, catch me, if you can….I’m the gingerbread man!

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Up-close of Cinderella, just like as in “it’s a small world”.

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About 2,000 lbs. of sugary goodness went into making this display!

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The new 2017 Cinderella holiday pin

pin2

It opens up!

comtemp mug

New holiday mugs.

 

tray

Cookie tray


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two-disney-sisters

Two Disney Sisters

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney.

Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

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Turning on the 2017 Cinderella Castle Dream Lights!

frozenThe 2017 Cinderella Castle Dream Lights will be turned on tonight, November 9, 2017 and Disney Parks Blog will be live streaming it!

It’s also the first night of the 2017 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party celebration.

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The Cinderella Castle Dream Lights.  (Teal, my favorite color!)

It’s Christmastime at the Magic Kingdom!!!

Disney decorates Cinderella Castle for the holiday season with a “Dream Lights” effect that makes the Castle seem to be covered in ice.

Over 200,000 LED lights are draped over the turrets and roofs and down the sides of the Castle to create this beautiful effect.

We’ve gotten to see the Cinderella Castle Dream Lights being turned on many times for the past several years.  It’s beautiful each and every time!

The Dream Lights will stay lit until after the 25th Anniversary Disney Marathon Weekend happening January 5 – 7, 2018.

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6pm:  The Frozen preshow where Queen Elsa lights the Castle.

Just after dark at around 6pm, the characters from ‘Frozen’ come out on the Castle Stage and do a short show.  The castle lighting show stars Anna, Queen Elsa (who “turns on” the lights with her magical, icy powers), Kristoff, and Olaf.

The Frozen show starts the evening’s celebrations, followed by the Castle’s lighting ceremony at 6:15 pm.  The Castle’s Dream Lights remain on, with the Castle slowly changing colors from pink to green to blue to purple, for the rest of the evening until one hour after park closing.

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I could watch them change colors all night.  This is one of my favorite shades, blue into purple.  Just dazzling!

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Purple.

pink (2)

Make it pink!!

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Stunning!  Icy blue.

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Teal into ‘Frozen’ blues.  **Sigh**

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The four side turrets house the new state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems for all the different shows put on every day.

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Reflections of the Dream Lights on the castle’s moat water.  I took this photo last year.

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7pm:  The Dream Lights are turned on and they are beautiful!  We could watch them change colors all night!  ❤

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It’s starting to rain, but we don’t care!  Ho ho ho!!

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anna

Meeting Queen Elsa and Princess Anna before the lighting ceremony.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***

25 Days of Christmas Countdown on TV

25

Countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas programming starts November 18th.

The countdown to the 25 Days of Christmas programming starts November 18th this year with ‘Inside Out’.

Then, the special month-long  25 Days of Christmas holiday programming is shown every year from December 1st to December 25th on the Freeform channel.

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25 Days of Christmas programming on Freeform

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Free programming guide

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25-days

December 1 – 25, 2017

Disney will also be airing holiday musical specials are being taped this weekend in front of the Cinderella Castle at Disney World.

WDW taping schedule:  2017 Taping of Disney Christmas Day Special at WDW.

They’re taping two Christmas specials at the Disney Parks this weekend.

Julianne Hough and Nick Lachey will be based at Walt Disney World Resort for the specials. Jesse Palmer will co-host from Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif.

First up is “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magic Holiday Celebration” airing on Nov. 30, 2017.

The second special airs Christmas morning called “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration.”

The acts performing in Orlando will be 98 Degrees, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fifth Harmony, Ciara and Darius Rucker.

For the first special “The Wonderful World of Disney: Magic Holiday Celebration”, Hough and Lachey will perform an opening number on the steps of Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World. The special also features Disney Parks around the world, from Anaheim to Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

The performers on the Nov. 30 special include:

Ciara in a Christmas medley from Cinderella Castle.

Rucker on “Winter Wonderland.” (Taping at DAK on Saturday)

Fifth Harmony sings “Can You See,” from “The Star” soundtrack, and “The Christmas Song.”

Fitz and the Tantrums perform “HandClap” and their original Christmas song “Santa Stole My Lady.”

Hanson will sing “Finally It’s Christmas,” from their recently released Christmas album.

Boy band In Real Life will sing “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.”

Jason Derulo performs “This Christmas.”

Lea Michele performs “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”

The Dec 25th Christmas morning special “Disney Parks Magical Christmas Celebration” presents Hough and Lachey taking viewers down Main Street, U.S.A. Palmer again co-hosts from Disneyland.

The lineup of performers so far:

Ciara sings “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” from Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort.

Rucker on “Home for The Holidays.”

Fifth Harmony on “Sleigh Ride.”

Fitz and the Tantrums on “Last Christmas.”

Derulo delivers “Silent Night” from Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Resort.

“Glee” star Lea Michele sings “Let It Snow.”

98 Degrees performs “Season of Love.”

Broadway’s Telly Leung and Arielle Jacobs, of the stage hit “Aladdin,” perform “A Whole New World” (taping at Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Friday).

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Here’s the link to the facebook page for programming updates:  https://www.facebook.com/25DaysofChristmas/

elf

Elf will be airing several times in December including on Christmas Day.

freeform

Set your DVRs!

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two-disney-sisters

Two Disney sisters.

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

   by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins

Ever wonder what it’s like to work for Disney???

We worked at WDW for a year in the Disney College Program and have written a book about what it’s like to be a cast member working for Disney.

We’ve included advice on how to successfully get into the DCP program, including some of the actual phone interview questions, how to have a successful internship, and how not self-term before your program ends. Our book is filled with lots of behind-the-scene stories of the magic of Disney. Available now at Amazon.com in paperback and Kindle formats. Published by Theme Park Press.

Book link on Amazon.com:  Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

book

Two Girls and a Mouse Tale

***